damiana

Damiana

(Turnera diffusa)

An aromatic herb (in the mint family) native to Central America.  The Aztecs used the leaves as a sexual tonic and stimulant and regarded it as the second most important herb for bestowing vitality, after chocolate. Traditionally the fragrant leaves were brewed as a tea and sweetened with honey to stimulate lovemaking.


Tastes/Energetics: aromatic, warming, slightly stimulating, but also relaxing

Parts Used: leaves & flowers

Actions:  aromatic, nerve tonic, aphrodisiac, antidepressant, carminative, reproductive tonic, diuretic

Uses:  Traditionally used for stimulating sexual appetite, treating erectile dysfunction & enhancing orgasm in both sexes. Strengthens the central nervous system & eases the emotional stress, damiana may helpful for mild depressive or anxious states. Also helpful in treating irrational fears. Alkaloids could have a testosterone-like action. As a carminative, it eases colic, dyspesia, & upset stomach.

Indications: impotence, low libido, poor digestion, cough, melancholy and sadness, weak nerves in the reproductive organs, sexual debility due to nervous exhaustion, incontinence, chronic prostatic discharge

Preparations: as a tea, use 1 tsp damiana with ½ tsp spearmint and ½ tsp rose petals for an invigorating yet calming nerve tonic. Often used in smoking mixtures. It also makes an incredible liqueur!!!

Cautions: Damiana may interfere with the absorption of iron. Avoid large doses during pregnancy.

Dose: Tea: use 1 tsp. per cup of water and drink 3 cups a day. Tincture: 10-30 drops 1-4 x a day.
*These statements have not been approved by the FDA. The information contained here is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.

Yellow Dock

(Rumex crispus)

Tastes/Energetics: bitter, sour, astringent, cool, dry

Parts Used: primarily the root, but leaves can be used externally on skin irritations

Actions: bitter tonic, alterative (blood-purifier), mild laxative

Uses: A compress soothes skin eruptions & infections. It is especially soothing to nettle stings and poison ivy rashes. A decoction can be useful for treating diarrhea. Conversely, small amounts of yellow dock infusion or tincture can relieve constipation. It is a gentle, safe laxative that strengthens the colon. Yellow Dock helps to liberate iron stored in the liver and is often used in blood-building formulas such as our blood-building syrup. As an alterative/blood-purifier, yellow dock supports the body’s detoxification processes, making it useful in cases of acne, allergies and cancer when signs of “bad blood” or toxic blood are present. It is traditionally used as a spring tonic to rid the body of the excess baggage of winter, especially if you had an extra merry holiday season!

Recipe for Iron-Rich Syrup:

  • 8 Tbsp. dried yellow dock root
  • 4 tbsp. dried nettle leaf
  • 4 tsp. orange peel
  • 4 tsp. fennel seed
  • 5 cups filtered water
  1. Add herbs and water to pot.  Mark the water level and simmer until liquid is reduced by ½.
  2. Strain the herb material, reserving the liquid.
  3. For each cup of liquid that you have remaining, add 1/4 cup honey & 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses.
  4. Use funnel to pour syrup into clean bottles. Label and refrigerate. Keep up to 3 months.
Passiflora

Passionflower

(Passiflora incarnata)

This month we are featuring Passionflower, a beautiful and supportive nervine. Stop in and try some of our locally grown passionflower from Sacred Roots Herbal Sanctuary.


Part Used: Dried leaves & stems

Tastes/Energetics: bitter, sour, cooling

Actions: nervine, anxiolytic, sedative, hypnotic, antispasmodic, anodyne

Uses: Passionflower calms the nervous system, improves mood and relieves anxiety. Passionflower is one of our favorite herbs for supporting sleep. As a sedative and hypnotic, it helps with the transition into sleep. It also quiets a racing mind and helps to break circular and repetative thought patterns that may be keeping you up at night. Its ability to tone down mental chatter makes it an ally for those who are incessant thinkers and chronic worriers. As an antispasmodic, passionflower is useful in any condition of muscle or nervous contraction or over-stimulation. It has been used, for example, in Parkinson’s disease as well as menstrual cramps, seizures, hysteria and nervous twitching. It can also calm nerve pain, such as the pain that accompanies shingles.

Contraindications: do not use concurrently with pharmaceutical sedatives.

Folklore: Passionflower’s unique floral arrangement inspired early Christian missionaries to appropriate its distinctive morphology as a symbol of Christ’s crucifixion. The 3 pistils represent the holy trinity, while the 12 petals represent the disciples. Passionflower’s corona resembles purple and white striped threads, which emerge in a beautiful crimped pattern. This visual conjures the feeling of a frayed and excited nervous system and serves as a reminder of its ability to calm & center our scattered & frazzled nerves.

Don’t forget that winter is the season for rest, and we should all be cutting back on our projects and surrendering to sweet slumber. Think of passionflower to help you align with the calling of the season.